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Tonight, December 16, 2014 after sunset marks the first night (first day being December 17th) of The Festival of Lights: Hanukkah!
For those not familiar with the holiday, Hanukkah commemorates the Jewish people’s successful rebellion against the Greeks in the Maccabean War in 162 BCE. A ritual cleansing and re-dedication of the Temple occurred after the Jewish people’s victory. It is believed that there was only enough consecrated oil to keep the lamp burning for one day but the small bottle of oil miraculously lasted for eight days. Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah, is referred as the Feast of Lights or Festival of Lights for this reason (timeanddate.com).
The celebration lasts for eight days and normally consists of ritual readings, prayers, distribution of gifts, the lighting of the menorah, and the sharing of traditional foods and unleavened breads. Most Hanukkah celebrations include song and dance and large feasts with family, friends, and neighbors. Personally, I’m all for the potato latkes!
I recently married into a Jewish household and have had a wonderful time learning the customs, celebrating the holidays, and participating in the religious ceremonies. The Jewish customs and traditions are steeped in history and are very interactive. The generous use of wine with the ceremonies is a big plus too!
So for all of our Jewish friends, family, and customers out there we wish you a happy Hanukkah and hope that your holiday season is filled with love and prosperity.